My good friend Bill Logan just sent me a link to a heartening article. Here are a couple of tidbits:
A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback. Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University concluded that “the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does.”
And the second:
Slow-reading advocates recommend at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily reading away from the distractions of modern technology. By doing so, the brain can reengage with linear reading. The benefits of making slow reading a regular habit are numerous, reducing stress and improving your ability to concentrate.
As a poet I am, of course, a “slow-reading advocate.” Nothing reads slower than a poem, if it’s a good poem and if you’re reading it well. (This is why I consider Finnegans Wake a prose poem and not a novel. But that’s an argument for another day, when there’s time to argue slowly.) It’s also why I follow a wonderful blog called Slow Reads. The authors don’t deal only or even principally with poetry, but they bring a poetics of slow reading to all the texts they discuss.